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25 mayo 2024

Church of San Juan de los Panetes (Zaragoza): An architectural jewel

The Church of San Juan de los Panetes in Zaragoza is one of the most emblematic national monuments of the city. Its multiple architectural influences have made this cultural heritage site a meeting point for visitors and history buffs.

The baroque style, along with touches of Gothic and Mudejar, give this temple a unique style. In addition, many historical events around the church attract the attention of history fans. In the following post I show you everything you need to know about this imposing building.

History of the Church of San Juan De Los Panetes

In principle, the church of San Juan De Los Panetes, is the predecessor of the church of the order of San Juan De Jerusalem or the Hospitallers. This is due to the reconstruction of the temple, motivated by a fire in the XVI century, where the ecclesiastical archive and most of the treasure of the church were lost.

In 1935, this monument was on the verge of destruction when a group of anarchists in the uprising against the Republic set fire to it again. This time only the crucified Christ was saved, thanks to the astuteness of a group of young Catholics.

Today, the church is a source of history and stories that propel visitors on a delirious journey through the most emblematic events of the city. Since 1933 it has been a national monument and more recently it has been listed as a property of cultural interest.

Architecture of the church of San Juan De Los Panetes

The church of San Juan De Los Panetes preserves part of the influence of the architecture of the old Romanesque church. For this reason, it has a chrism on the semicircular keystone of the south portal of the church, adorned with a golden ring.

In the process of restoration promoted by the Gran Castellán de Amposta, much of its baroque influence was introduced. Since we find dynamic forms with exuberant decorations in a scenographic sense of shapes and volumes.

After the events that took place in the context of the anarchist uprising, the church only received major restorations in order to maintain its original style. It was in 1960 when major works were carried out to restore the original color and texture of the walls.

Importance of the church of San Juan De Los Panetes

Surrounded by the Ebro, Huerva and Gallego rivers, Zaragoza is known as the city of water. Its geographical location has given it, for a long time, a strategic importance in terms of communication and economy. All this influence has had a strong impact on its architecture.

It is for this reason that the church of San Juan De Los Panetes, shows these historical marks as stories on its walls, walls and slabs. If you are thinking of visiting this monument, we are going to reveal its importance, so that you can enjoy this architectural jewel to the fullest.

  • The octagon-shaped tower. The influence of the Maltese church is very clear in this work. We remember that the symbol that represents this order is the Maltese cross that has eight points. It is no coincidence!
  • Where does its name come from. The order of St. John or the order of the Knights Hospitaller is what influenced its name. However, another curiosity is that at the entrance of the church they distributed bread to the most needy.
  • The chrism on its façade. Today, this symbol of Roman origin can only be seen in the Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar, the Monastery of the Holy Sepulchre and the church of San Juan de los Panetes. A peculiar route!
  • The people of Zaragoza remember with sorrow. Despite the fact that this monument is a place of worship, that was not enough for the terrorists who planned and executed a bomb attack on January 30, 1987.
  • A leaning tower that is not in Italy. Although everyone believes that the only leaning tower in the world is in Italy, this is not quite true! The tower of the church of San Juan De Los Panetes has a leaning due to a slight fault in its foundations.
    Description of the church of San Juan de los Panetes

With a strong influence of Aragonese Mudejar architecture, the church of San Juan De Los Panetes has an octagonal tower with a slight inclination towards the Plaza del Pilar. At the top it ends with a bulbous spire, a jewel for connoisseurs of Mudejar architecture.

Because this church has a Maltese influence we will find on the floor several Maltese crosses. Its body is composed of three naves of equal size and height. Its vaults are decorated by lunettes of baroque influence and ends with a dome located over the transept.

The classical Aragonese art is demonstrated in its façade thanks to the large brick pilasters. This alludes to the clear verticality of San Juan De Los Panetes.

Although it does not possess an exuberant decoration in jewels. This monument receives many visitors every year due to all the artistic history exposed in a pearl of baroque architecture. It is located next to the Plaza del Pilar and the fountain of the hispanidad, next to the tower of the Zuda. In Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain.

The church of San Juan de los Panetes is part of the list of the main churches in Zaragoza to visit. Today, the city hall has a route to take people interested in admiring the different influences in the architecture of this beautiful city.

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